Australian Hewitt likely to shift base to US

January 27th, 2009 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 27 (DPA) After a lifetime based in Australia, Lleyton Hewitt may be planning a possible move to the US in hopes of extending his tennis career.Hewitt, 27, wife Bec Cartwright and the couple’s two children could be set for a shift of continent within months, according to Melbourne’s Herald Sun - all part of a strategy to dispel any notion that the former number one might soon retire after his ranking dropped out of the Top 100.

Hewitt crashed out in the Australian Open first round.

“We’re trying to cut down on the amount of travel Lleyton has,” manager David Drysdale Drysdale confirmed to the newspaper. “With Lleyton coming back from a hip injury and committed to a full schedule, it makes sense if he can spend less time travelling.

“He’s such a family-oriented person and that’s why he’s always come back to Australia in between tournaments. If he had an overseas base, he could come home for a couple of days between tournaments to spend time with his family.”

Hewitt has always refused to leave Australia, returning first to Adelaide and later to Sydney at every opportunity. He also has skipped the autumn European indoor ATP season for years and has made limited appearances on clay in the spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

If he set up shop in the US, Hewitt would be following the trail blazed by other Australian former players, including Pat Rafter in Bermuda and Mark Philippoussis, Darren Cahill, John Fitzgerald and Todd Woodbridge in the US.

Hewitt could combine house-hunting with his February schedule, which should take him to San Jose, Memphis, Indian Wells and Houston.

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